So You Want to be a Writer?

So you want to be a writer. Now what?

Whether this is a life-long passion, or a sudden realization, the simple answer is, just write. But, the not-so-simple fact is, only you can decide exactly what being a writer means to you.

If you envision a glamorous life of book tours, lavish accommodations, and insightful interviews, that’s great. Good luck. It does happen, but the odds are similar to hitting the lottery.

However, if your goals are somewhat more modest, and include a great deal of work and effort with some lesser degree of success, your odds improve slightly.

If you love to write, enjoy telling stories and creating characters, are obsessed with words, and/or have a story burning inside you that you are sure the world needs, congratulations, you’re a writer. Now, get busy.

Learn as much as you can about the basics of writing, mechanics, story arcs, character building. If you are serious about writing, you owe it to yourself and your potential readers to learn as much as possible about the craft of writing. If you’ve ever downloaded a free e-book that left you cringing with embarrassment for the poor author, and wishing you could get a refund even though it was free, you understand what I mean.

Go back and re-read something you’ve written, and edit as needed. Allow someone else to read your work, preferably someone who knows a bit about writing. Your spouse or your mother will probably tell you your first draft is the next best-seller, but they usually are not the most objective readers. That’s why it’s important to connect to other writers. Fellow writers can help you see what is working and what isn’t. They can offer advice and tips to make your writing better.

Find a local writers’ group. They don’t bite, usually. Most of them are more than happy to share what they know about writing, the craft and the business. And I’ve noticed that a local group which meets in person is usually kinder and gentler than an on-line group, where some people tend to forgo common courtesy and kindness in the anonymity of the on-line-only community.

Attend writing conferences. Subscribe to writing journals. Read blogs about writing. These are all ways to develop your knowledge and understanding of the craft, whether your focus is on writing as a hobby or a business.

If you are in the Central Arkansas area, I encourage you to visit us at White County Creative Writers. Details about our meetings and our upcoming conference can be found on this website. Our blog is a treasure-trove of useful information. Our members are welcoming, helpful, and talented. We provide information, lessons, and challenges to help us all become better writers. And we don’t bite.

Kim Vernon
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